Darya Pishchalnikova, a London Olympic silver medalist in the discus, faces a lifetime ban for being caught doping for her second time. She also faces the possibility of being stripped of her medal.
Nikita Kamayev, executive director of Russia’s Ani-doping Agency, said Thursday that the 2011 world discus champion was being investigated by the World Anti-Doping Agency after recent test revealed she was positive for anabolic steroids.
“An athlete who commits a second offence involving [anabolic steroids] could face from eight years to a life ban,” Kamayev told the Russian media. “As for the Olympic silver medal, it depends when her suspension would start if she was found guilty this time.”
Pishchalnikova has professed her innocence and requested analysis of her B sample. There is slim possiblity that her B sample may clear her, but it is highly unlikely that they will.
She has had a controversial career, which included close to a three-year suspension from July 2008 to April 2011 for manipulating samples before the 2008 Games. Six other Russian athletes were also involved in the tampering.
Valentin Balakhnichev, president of the Russian athletics federation (VFLA) , said he anticipates the 27-year-old’s investigation to be completed by the end of November.
“I can’t make a full disclosure of her case because the due process has not finished,” he told Reuters.
Balakhnichev made it clear that VFLA does not condone doping and is “committed in the fight against doping”.
Ingna Abitova, former European 10,000 meters champion was banned by the VFLA on Wednesday for “abnormal hemoglobin profile in her biological passport”.
If the silver medalist is found guilty she will join the growing list of athletes who have been stripped of their medals due to doping in the London Olymipics. Belarusian shot put gold medalist Nadzeya Ostapchuk and Uzbekistani bronze medal wrestler Soslan Tigiev have already had their medals taken.